Winfrey (pictured) touring Maui. Logan (insert) a li'l angel. Photo: Instagram
Winfrey (pictured) touring Maui. Logan (insert) a li'l angel. Photo: Instagram

Oprah Winfrey purchases “big chunk” of Maui for $6.6 million prompting surf enthusiasts to wonder if former acolyte Erik Logan still in media mogul’s ear!

Kelly Slater's Ulupalakua Surf Ranch on the way?

News broke overnight that Oprah Winfrey, very famous and worth some $2.7 billion, had purchased a “large chunk” of Maui for a reported $6.6 million. The plot of land, 870 acres in total near Kula, in the Valley Isle’s guts, formerly belonged to the Ulupalakua Ranch which specializes in elk hamburgers.


As you certainly know, the media mogul owns property in Montecito, Chicago and Colorado, three places that don’t feature surf nor Albee Layer and her sudden interest in the birthplace of the Sport of Queens has surf enthusiasts wondering if her former acolyte, one Erik Logan, is in her ear.

Logan, the World Surf League’s current Chief of Executives, previously served as the Oprah Winfrey Network president and kicked the then-struggling television operation to great success. Coming over to the WSL, the Oklahoman was named head of studios, which promptly shuttered, and failed upstairs to the number one slot.

Winfrey’s new holding is exactly 12 miles from Jaws and 40-ish from Honolua Bay making it the perfect spot for an artificial wave facility.

Kelly Slater’s Ulupalakua Surf Ranch.

Rings, no?

Dez Becks, Shaq and iconic Billabong, top, and Quiksilver ads from the halcyon eighties.

David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal owner “days away” from inking deal to buy Quiksilver and Billabong for $US1.3 billion!

Hot new daddies for surf industry icons!

The sale of surfing’s two most iconic brands, Quiksilver and Billabong, has been swinging back and forth for a year or so now, with BeachGrit dutifully following each moment of the pendulum.

First, it was Vans circling the beleaguered Boardriders Inc, owner of Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA, then Authentic, “a robust house that includes the licensing rights to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali” followed by Hurley owner, Bluester Alliance, all picking over those bleached surf industry bones, brands once so mighty the entire sport squatted on their shoulders. 

The original deal with Authentic shot itself, we were told, ‘cause the current owner of Boardriders Inc, Oaketree, wouldn’t let go of the retail outlets, ironic considering all that dang bricks and mortar was a millstone around Billabong’s neck as sales shifted online.

Now, Bloomberg is reporting that  Authentic, which also owns the David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal labels, and another once-great surf label Volcom, will be taking the keys to Quik and Billabong as soon as this week in a deal worth $US1.3 billion. 

As Boardriders was shopping around the biz last year piss poor cash flow and maturing loans forced it to cut costs, sacking twenty percent of its Australian staff or almost two hundred jobs. 

At its peak, Billabong was valued at five billion Australian dollars but eventually sold for $390 mill or one dollar a share. 

Quiksilver, meanwhile, did its shirt after trying to take over the entire surf-ski market with its spectacularly disastrous buy of ski brand Rossignol for seven hundred mill only to sell it a few years later at a stunning seventy-five percent loss. 

Kai Lenny (right) squinting. Woody Allen (left) gently encouraging a solution. Photo: Someone in Walmart.
Kai Lenny (right) squinting. Woody Allen (left) gently encouraging a solution. Photo: Someone in Walmart.

Mega surf brand Hurley continues exciting pivot toward elder care, releases line of handsome readers at Walmart!

The future is so dim I need specs!

The rise of Hurley from highly-regarded surf brand to must-have everything everywhere all at once is one of the more exciting bits of our new surf epoch. Those who dabble in history will certainly know the Hurley name. Bob, its onetime owner, made it very famous through his surfing then shaping expertise and also financial wizardry. Not yet thirty, the handsome man scooped the U.S. Billabong license for $40,000 and turned it into a $100 m business. After that he went out on his own with Hurley, which sold to Nike for hundreds of millions more, and then, four years ago, sold to Bluestar Alliance.

Derek Rielly wrote at the time, “The way Bluestar works is it identifies brands it wants to buy and once they get the keys, “our team of experts embark on a complete and thorough understanding of the brand’s potential channels of distribution and price point strategies. We create tools such as brand development profiles, trend guides, style guides and marketing strategies. These marketing materials portray graphic illustrations and a strategic marketing road map to enhance consumer brand recognition.”

Surf fans thrilled when fingernail clippers, pool toys, beard oil and Kai Lenny soon appeared on the market.

All absolutely perfect for an aging demographic but new-and-improved Hurley is not finished. After sponsoring the 47+ set’s favorite wave, Sunset Beach, the house has just released a line of very stylish readers at Walmart for the almost too good to be true starting price of $138.


But what is your position vis a vis readers? Do you rage, rage against the dying light and sit in your bed squinting hard at BeachGrit‘s famously cantankerous comment thread or have you given in to the joy of spectacles?

Will you swap them out for a pair of Hurleys?

More as the story develops.

McConaughey Jr. (left) partaking in tradition. Photo: Instagram
McConaughey Jr. (left) partaking in tradition. Photo: Instagram

Matthew McConaughey’s dashing young son collects “surf souvenirs” after kissing ultra-hard Hawaiian reef!

A tale as old as time.

It is a tale as old as time. Boy travels to Hawaii in search of legendary surf. Boy paddles out into the yawning blue. Boy catches wave, wipes out and bounces off underwater ouchies, staggers to beach and is lovingly cared for by Sam George’s ex-wife only to rise again and learn the true meaning of aloha. An absolute classic that never tires no matter how often it is reprised.

And our latest, in a long line, is none other than Matthew McConaughey’s young son Levi.

The Academy Award winning actor is, of course, adored by all and was most recently spotted in the Red Bull Athlete Lounge during the just-wrapped Hurley Pro Sunset Beach. Our Joe Turpel commented, from the booth, that McConaughey was a “big fan” of the World Surf League, which may have been an overstatement, but the handsome Texan’s love of surf is unquestionable with memorable turns as Steve Addington in Surfer, Dude and Moondog in Beach Bum.

In any case, it appears the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and that the gift of wave sliding has been passed down to the next generation. McConaughey seemed pleased with Levi’s reef kiss, describing it as a “surf souvenir” on Instagram.

Many weighed in on their own experiences with the “bed of the sea” which is a “cheese grater” and so on.

Fine reading.

Alright, alright, alright.

But would you like to share your favorite reef injury? Do you recall when World Surf League Chief of Executives Erik Logan suffered a life-threatening one in Tahiti just last year?


Queer surf group announces “Trans Day of Visibility” as pro surfing threatens to implode over trans-rights on tour, “We will not tolerate transphobia in the lineup or on the beaches!”

"Trans existence will not be endangered but those who are ignorant, but enlightened by those who are insightful."

Transgender surfers will draw a figurative if not literal line in the sand at Will Rogers Beach in Santa Monica this Saturday with a “Trans Day of Visibility!” 

TS surf and skate label Dream Team Society, which makes “merchandise for conscious consumption” and using only “historically marginalized groups & businesses” announced the “Trans Surf, boogie and beach day” via Instagram. 

Everyone is welcome, including CIS freaks and those a little curious – and who isn’t – although there is a caveat. 

“This is a space for TGNC (Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People) folks and if you support that community, you are welcomed. This is a place of celebration and safety, so don’t duck with us we are just trying to have a nice time!”

Trans Beach Day comes as pro surfing threatens to implode following the WSL’s decision to allow biological males to compete in the gals. 

The World Surf League opened the door to trans-women competing so long as they’ve been a gal for at least twelve months and their hormone levels are real low, although the WSL said it wouldn’t be doing the testing, each athlete suppling their own supporting documents.

The world’s most inspirational surfer Bethany Hamilton sparked wild debate, both for and against the rule change, when she recorded a piece to camera damning the decision.

Hamilton, who was thirteen when a tiger shark took off her arm, said she was speaking for tour surfers who felt muzzled, agreed with Kelly Slater who called for a trans-only div and said she’d boycott events if it went ahead.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton)

“Speak your truth!” wrote Shane Dorian in response. “Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for what you believe. Don’t listen to people who hurl the word transphobic at anyone who’s beliefs don’t align perfectly with theirs. These are complicated problems with no clear solution. Regardless, there are many people who love and support the trans community who agree with you on these issues…Less than 1% of people think this policy reflects fairness. Quite the opposite”

As for Dream Team Society, their small batch of merch reflects a fine sense of humour.

Fav, of course, the “Body Hair, Don’t Care” hoodie and tee. Sold out, unfortunately.

“We put a butch in a bathing suit and got the glory shot of the year…This collab highlights the beauty of body hair, awareness of ACAB.”

ACAB, of course, is the acronym for All Cops Are Bastards.

Rings true to me.